Bird boy – Jennie E. Owen

Bird boy

You flew

and it seemed each wish, every desire
I had to see you go, had stitched a feather
one after another upon your back.  First black and lustrous,
then foxing, like the tidal stain
on my finger from your silver ring.

You flew

far above the horizon, far above every other animal
and its stretched out twin, blackened like bonfires.
You watched the land beneath you pass, a plead
in greens; the sun (a rare sight for you) flash-lighting
musical notes on every pond, puddle, muddy
muddled lane between us.

You landed

and I pictured you, with her, stretching.  Shaking me out
of your limbs, your wings.  Loose as a doll whose
elastic 
                snapped.  Her face is a plastic supplication,
a painted tight beak.

You shook

and I heard about the quake.  I felt it,
watched it on the morning news, called the presenter
a liar.  My teacup shivered its saucer
in my hands and the memories 
pink ringed my cheeks.

For a moment on the screen,
I thought I could see the yellow of your eye.

I wondered then

after all of this shuddering of us,
did the arrow I left in your side 
still quiver?

Jennie E. Owen’s writing has won competitions and has been widely published online, in literary journals and anthologies.  She teaches Creative Writing for The Open University and lives in Lancashire with her husband and three children.

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